How To Stop Enabling Your Husband

September 2, 2017


Enabling is a dysfunctional way of helping someone else in such a way that hurts the enabler and the person they think they are helping. In other words , Enabling means we are allowing someone to continue doing the wrong things like smoking and drinking. Enabling is a negative term and those who enable their husband or other persons in their life for example friends and acquaintances, are ultimately harming  them and repercussions are faced by enablers too. In case of an addict it becomes more important not to enable/allow taking drugs or alcohol, because this way we are giving rise to addiction. Married drug/alcohol addicts are even more difficult to treat as they take their spouse for granted and don’t listen to them at all. Wives keep trying hard to get rid of their husbands’ addiction but all efforts go in vain. They need to understand that this way they are giving rise to their husband’s bad habit of addiction. Wives need to learn their enabling behaviours and make a conscious choice to stop those behaviours.

Living with an addict is not easy, so is trying to control their addiction. Women married to an addict face lot of challenges. They have to take care of the children all alone, assume all other responsibilities alone. Enablers often lose their own identity while assuming all responsibilities and their lives become convoluted and controlled by addiction.


Few things to stop enabling :

  1. Enabler has to make a commitment to change.

  2. Enabler must commit to stop their part in enabling 100%.

  3. Enabler must stop negative behavioural patterns and replace them with positive ones.

  4. Enabler needs to get support from someone with experience and trust worthy.

  5. Enabler need to stop enabling their husband and start empowering themselves.

You can start asking yourself the following questions:-

  1. Why am I allowing this person and his addiction control my life?

  2. Why don’t I feel good about myself and want to be treated better?

  3. Why do I have fears of abandonment , of being alone ,of standing on my own two feet?

Enabler wives always keep facing fears of being abandoned by their addict husbands because addicts never value emotions and feelings of their wives and their children. They fear that their Addict husband will leave them for another woman or for not supporting his drinking and other substance abuse. In such families, even the children become enablers. They support their father when mother confronts him. For instance, when children need some stuff like a new play station or a phone from their father, they will justify his drinking or other substance abuse.

I have an advice for the enabler women, focus on yourself, change your life and start doing things that bring back your confidence then it is less likely you will want to mend his ways.

Addiction is a selfish condition because it involves the complete attention of not just the family members than just the addict. Enabling is a choice even though it does not feel like one. Wife chooses to support her husband in every possible way like excusing him for 2 extra pegs of whisky or taking more shots of drugs such as cocaine,weed etc. this in turn gives way to more substance abuse.

So Ladies! The best way to stop this drug abuse would be to stop enabling, stop excusing him for various reasons and become more independent.

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